Saturday, July 4, 2015

Mampoer South African Moonshine

South African Home Distilled Fruit Liquor Mampoer, the South African water of life or South African Moonshine is served wrapped  barbered wire bottles. The ideal alcohol content of mampoer is around 64%.

Mampoer South African MoonshineThe intense tasting home-distilled fruit liquor mampoer comes wrapped in barbered wire and is usually around 55-64% proof. Mampoer can be made from apricots, cherries, figs, oranges, pears, yellow peaches, plums and just about any fruit. The ideal alcohol content is around 64%; only 6-10% of the fermented juice is eventually mampoer. It was illegal to make mampoer however, since 2007, it became possible to create the brew only if made for personal use and not sold.

Legend has it that Mampuru chief of the Pedi people murdered his brother Sekhukuni, chased by the authorities, and gave himself sanctuary under a friend’s tribe who he knew could not refuse to help him due to South African tribal laws. Because of this Mampuru and the chief who was forced to help him, Chief Niabela, were both hung by the authorities and Chief Niabela land divided among Boer bywoners or poor white tenet framers.

Bottle of Mampoer
Bottle of Mampoer
The Boer bywoners had little to no experience with farming however; they did show a skill for making moonshine. The Boer bywoners named their powerful fruit brandy moonshine mampoer after the Mampuru because of his strength and maybe because the Boer bywonders learned the distilling process from the people of Chief Mampuru. The legend of how the popular drink mampour got its name is unclear however, what is clear is the Boer bywonders are known for their homemade brewing skills of fruit brandy, a skill that is celebrated to this very day.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Africa by Toto: I Hear the Drums Echoing Tonight

Africa is a legendary song by the American rock band Toto. The band released 17 albums and since 1977 sold over 35 million albums. Toto was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in 2009. One of their best known songs is “Africa”, this iconic 80's song tells the story of a young man who travels to Africa and must make a choice whether to leave with his love who flew in to take him back home or stay in the land he fell in love with, Africa. 

Toto keyboard player David Paich wrote the song, and explained in the liner notes of Toto's Best Ballads compilation: "At the beginning of the 80's I watched a late night documentary on TV about all the terrible death and suffering of the people in Africa. It both moved and appalled me and the pictures just wouldn't leave my head. I tried to imagine how I'd feel about if I was there and what I'd do." Paich had never been to Africa when he wrote the song.

Toto Africa song lyrics:
I hear the drums echoing tonight
But she hears only whispers of some quiet conversation
She's coming in, 12:30 flight
The moonlit wings reflect the stars that guide me towards salvation

I stopped an old man along the way
Hoping to find some old forgotten words or ancient melodies
He turned to me as if to say,
"Hurry, boy, it's waiting there for you."
It's gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
There's nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do
I bless the rains down in Africa
Gonna take some time to do the things we never had, ooh-ooh

The wild dogs cry out in the night
As they grow restless, longing for some solitary company
I know that I must do what's right
Sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti
I seek to cure what's deep inside
Frightened of this thing that I've become

It's gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
There's nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do
I bless the rains down in Africa
Gonna take some time to do the things we never had, ooh-ooh


Hurry, boy, she's waiting there for you

It's gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
There's nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do
I bless the rains down in Africa
I bless the rains down in Africa (I bless the rains)

I bless the rains down in Africa (I bless the rains)
I bless the rains down in Africa
I bless the rains down in Africa (Ah, gonna take some time)
Gonna take some time to do the things we never had, ooh-ooh

Africa is a legendary song by rock band Toto

Toto Africa song facts:
·        Recorded: October 25, 1981
·        Released: May 10, 1982
·        Song length: 4:55 album and 7:05 extended version
·        Songwriters: Stone
·        Africa lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
·        Songwriters: David F Paich, Jeffrey T Porcaro
·        Africa lyrics © Spirit Music Group

Africa lives on in popular culture:
·        The song was used in the Top Gear Africa Special
·        In the TV show Community, Troy and Abed sing "Africa" with Professor Bauer in Anthropology 101's End Tag
·        Instrumentals of the song briefly play in the American Dad! Episode titled "Camp Refoogee".

·        Africa is featured in the Family Guy episode "Internal Affairs" It is the song that was playing when Joe and Bonnie first met, and becomes their song.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

African Epe Ekpe Voodoo Festival

Voodoo parishioners from the Guen tribe worship at the annual Epe Ekpe festival in Togo. African voodoo is the world's oldest known traditional religion and an important part of African cultural heritage.

Water plays a major role to the voodoo worshipers in the Epe Ekpe festival.
For one week each year in September the small town of Glidji located in the Southern most region of Togo, hundreds of voodoo or vodun worshipers make a pilgrimage to the scared village. The small town spills over with people and comes alive with the celebration of the voodoo New Year. Members of the Guen tribe travel great distances and gather together for the Epe Ekpe festival to purify themselves, worship, dance, sing and offer sacrifices. The Epe Ekpe Voodoo Festival has been celebrated in the same area of Southern Togo for over 320 years.
Glidji located in the Southern most region of Togo

Ekpe means stone and the climax of the festival is the unveiling of the color of the sacred stone. The scared stone is searched for by a priest within a sacred stone forest. The stone's color foretells the fortunes of the coming year, red means, danger, white or blue represents prosperity. A priest then sprinkles and blesses the voodoo followers with holy water for cleansing, protection, and blessing until the following year. Water plays a major role to the voodoo worshipers in the Epe Ekpe festival.

Not everyone who practices Voodoo does it in exactly the same way or agrees on exactly the same things. Voodoo is a religion that originated in Africa and is practiced around the world by millions of voodoo practitioners or Voodooists. Voodoo is as much a part of African heritage as Buddhism is to Asia. Voodoo is not a practice intended to hurt or control others and makes them into zombies. Voodoo isn't brutal nor is it the religious version characterized by TV and movies, voodoo is a nature based religion. 
Voodoo parishioners from the Guen tribe worship at the annual Epe Ekpe festival in Togo.

The Epe Ekpe festival has been celebrated in the same area of Togo for over 320 years and will continue to influence the lives of voodoo followers for another 300 years and beyond. It is safe to say African voodoo will not play a role in the zombie plague or zombie apocalypse. African voodoo is the world's oldest known traditional religion and an important part of African cultural heritage.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Gambia Hibiscus Flower Jam Recipe

Hibiscus Flower Jam

The Gambia Hibiscus Flower Jam Recipe by Benson Kua
African Recipes by

Hibiscus flower jam is very popular in the African country of The Gambia. This tasty easy to make hibiscus flower tropical jam is used as a filling for cakes, pies and cupcakes or used to spread on biscuits, toast and crackers. 

Prep time: Cook time: Total time:

1 cup dried hibiscus flowers
3 cups of water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 cups water


Steep dried blossom in hot water for 2 hours then strain using 1 cup of hibiscus flower water. Add sugar boil until the mixture thickens, about 20 minutes. Pour into prepared jars and serve on toast, crackers or uses as a filling for cakes, pies and cupcakes. 

The Gambia Hibiscus Flower Jam Recipe by Benson Kua

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Kikuyu Tribe Money and Wealth African Proverbs

Kikuyu Tribe of Kenya African Proverbs on Money and Wealth.

The Kikuyus, also known as Gikuyu or Agikuyu, make up Kenya’s largest ethnic group around 22 percent. The Kikuyu tribe is a Bantu tribe that neighbors the Embu, Mbeere and Meru tribes around Mount Kenya. Kikuyus speak the Kikuyu language, and most of them live around the fertile central highlands and Mount Kenya where they mainly grow tea and coffee. The Kikuyu tribe dominates leadership and politics in Kenya.

Kenya African Proverbs in Kikuyu language and English Language:

Gutiri mbura itari gitonga kiayo.
There is no rain that does not bring wealth to someone.

Kenyan Police force Utonga wa muici nduthuunaga, na ni uteeaga wake.
Unlawful riches do not prosper; they ruin even the legitimate ones.

Guthinga kurugite gutonga
Virtue is better than riches.

Muriio wa njoohi niuriukagwo, no wa indo nduriukagwo.
The drunkenness of beer passes away, but that of wealth does not.

Iroobagia ha muoni.
Vultures haunt the yard of a wealthy man.

The Kenyan Shilling is the currency of Kenya

Gukiaga na gutonga ititiganaga.
Poverty and riches do not leave each other.

Indo ni kurimithanio
Wealth comes by cultivating together.

Andu ni indo.
People are wealth.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Intonga Stick Fighting: Penalty for Kumhlaba Wamadoda Hitting in the “Land of Men”

Before there was football, there was the ancient Xhosa game of intonga or stick fighting. Just as with any other sport there are rules to follow. Intonga stick fighting there is a penalty for Kumhlaba Wamadoda or hitting in the “Land of Men” otherwise known as hitting below the belt.

The ancient African art of intonga or stick fighting has been practiced in rural South Africa for centuries. In the past when a Xhosa boy went to initiation school, one of the skills he would learn and practice daily was stick fighting. A young Xhosa man who carried himself well as a stick fighter won respect wherever he went. One of the first skills five year old Nelson Mandela learnt as a herd boy was that of stick fighting. In his autobiography Long Walk to Freedom written in 1995, Mandela says "I learned to stick-fight which is essential knowledge to any rural African boy – and became adept at its various techniques, parrying blows, feinting in one direction and striking in another, breaking away from an opponent with quick footwork."
African art of intonga or stick fighting in action 
The sport of stick fighting is one of South Africa’s oldest games developed hundreds of years ago in the rural parts of South Africa where it served as an important rite of passage in Xhosa culture. In today’s stick fighting games, competitors are armed with two sticks and protection for the head and hands. People from the age of five upwards are eligible to participate in the game. When you hit the head you get six points. When you hit the neck you get four points, hitting the hip scores you five points, while a blow to the leg gains you six points. The player that can hit the other with the stick the most in this play-fighting, wins.

Before there was football, there was stick fighting. Rules of the stick fighting game:

The referee will regulate the game by using a white stick to separate the players if there are illegal throws or strikes. Two fighters take up position inside the ring. Each fighter carries two sticks, namely the attack and the defense stick. The referee blows a whistle to start the game and the fighters try to hit their opponent with their stick, while defending themselves with the defense stick. Three judges judge the match and record points scored by each combatant. They also record deductible points where there are infringements of the rules. Points are awarded according to the number of blows that hit the opponent’s body. A bout consists of three rounds of one minute each.

Penalty points are deducted for every penalty committed. The following constitutes a penalty:
• Hitting no hit areas, namely “below the belt” or kumhlaba wamadoda, meaning the land of men, and also behind the head.
• Hitting an opponent during a break.
• Hitting an opponent when they are down.
• Prodding or attacking the opponent with the defense stick.
• Poking the opponent.
• Hooking or grabbing with a stick.
• Using sharpened sticks.

A Win
The player who has scored the most points at the end of the game is the winner, unless one of the players quits before the end of the game.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Nyamanda ”Until There is Peace in Africa” Human Rights Project

Nyamanda ”Until There is Peace in Africa” Human Rights Project

Suri Boy Ethiopia, photo by Rod WaddingtonNyamanda ”Until There is Peace in Africa” human rights project lectures to high school students about acting globally assisting the most fragile regions of Africa. Nyamanda teaches one person can make a difference in the lives of millions.  

“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.” -Nelson Mandela

Nyamanda free Saturday outreach program for high school students in grades 9-12 creates a welcoming environment that fosters diversity and global perspectives. The project engages students by preparing foods and creating crafts representing the African country being presented that month. Sales from our online jewelry store 100% fund the project.

"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." -Nelson Mandela

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Seven African Countries Are On Both Sides Of The Equator

There are seven African countries that are on both sides of the Equator. An equator is an imaginary line around the middle earth. Cities and towns located on the Earth’s equator have the fastest sunrises and sunsets and the transition from day to night takes only a few minutes.

Seven African Equator Countries

Republic of the Congo
Mother elephant with twins in Amboseli National Park, Kenya, East Africa by Diana RobinsonAbout 70% of the population of the Congo lives in its capital of Brazzaville, city of Pointe-Noire, or along the railroad between the two cities. Republic of the Congo is located in Central Africa, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Angola and Gabon. The ethnic groups are Kongo 48%, Sangha 20%, M'Bochi 12%, Teke 17%, Europeans and other 3%.

Kenya is located in Eastern Africa, bordering the Indian Ocean, between Somalia and Tanzania. Nanyuki Kenya is sort of like the main office for people pursuing the adventure of climbing the highest mountain in Kenya. Mount Kenya is an ancient extinct volcano and is the highest mountain in Kenya and the second-highest in Africa, after Kilimanjaro. The median age of the Kenyan people is 19 years old.

Fruit Market in Libreville Gabon by Brian GratwickeSao Tome and Principe
In the 16th century colonized by the Portuguese becomes a post for slave trade. Sao Tome and Principe was granted independence in 1975. The islands of Sao Tome and Principe are located in Central Africa in the Gulf of Guinea, just north of the Equator, and west of Gabon.

The median age of Ugandans is 15 years old. Uganda is a landlocked, fertile, country with many lakes and rivers. One such lake, Lake Victoria is the second largest lake in the world. Uganda is located East-Central Africa, west of Kenya, east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Gabon is located in Central Africa, bordering the Atlantic Ocean at the Equator, between Republic of the Congo and Equatorial Guinea. Gabon's small population of a little more than 1.5 million, rich natural resources, and sizeable foreign support have helped make it one of the more stable African countries.
Somalian grandmother and grandson by Trocaire 
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Democratic Republic of the Congo or DRC is located in Central Africa, northeast of Angola. Nyamuragira is Africa's most active volcano and is located in the Virunga Mountains of the DRC. Nyamuragira has erupted over 40 times in 130 years.


Somalia has been under Egyptian, French, British, and Italian control in 1960 becomes independent. The median age of Somalians is around 17 years old. The local name for Somalia is Soomaaliya, the official name is Federal Republic of Somalia.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Add African Culture to Your Wrists: DIY African Fabric-Wrapped Bangles

Add African culture to your wrists and up your bracelet game with a few easy steps. Create beautiful DIY fabric-wrapped bangles while adding African culture to your accessory wardrobe. You can make African wrapped bangles for pennies, garage sales, are a great place to find bangles.

DIY African Fabric-Wrapped BanglesSupplies
·        Simple bangle bracelets
·        A variety of African prints
·        Fabric scissors
·        Fabric glue
·        An iron and ironing board


Cut a long strip of fabric that measures double the width of your bangle.

Lay the fabric down on the ironing board, fold the edges in toward the center, and iron flat. Your strip should now have a front side that is clean and a back side with an ironed seam.

Add African culture to your wrists Place the end of the strip inside the bangle, with the front side facing out, apply a drop of glue and tightly wrap the strip around the bangle, fully covering the glued end to keep the strip in place.

Continue tightly wrapping the fabric strip around the bangle until you cover the entire bracelet. Apply a bit of glue inside the bangle under the final wrap. Cut the strip just after the glued section, and hold it in place until the glue dries.

Now show off your beautiful DIY African fabric-wrapped bangles to the world!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

African Honey Acne Treatment

Before the introduction of acne treatments, honey was used as a main ingredient for skin problem cures. For centuries throughout Africa, people use honey as a skin treatment for acne, eczema, cuts and sores. Africa has a wealth of traditional knowledge of apitherapy, the healing properties of bee products. 

Pure acne treatment honey photo by Oxfam East AfricaHoney is a sweet thick syrup produced by honeybees. Bees deposit nectar into honeycombs and seal them with beeswax to preserve the honey. Honey is made up of a solution of sugars and minerals in water, and is twice as sweet as sugar. Honey has a fairly long shelf-life, microbial activity is restricted and the product is stable for many months.

Honey has long been used as medicine. Africa has a wealth of traditional knowledge of apitherapy, the healing properties of bee products. Honey has antibiotic properties: it is a sterile solution with a high sugar concentration that prevents the growth of microorganisms. It is highly acid. It contains enzymes which produce hydrogen peroxide that kills bacteria. Honey is good for healing wounds and for skin treatment.

African Honey Acne Treatment

On clean dry shin using a cotton swab, dab high-grade honey on blemish; leave on 5 minutes then rinse skin with luke-warm water and pat dry. African Honey Acne Treatment seems to work well on most types of skin issues such as a rash, acne, eczema, or psoriasis.

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